Former 1st District Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin has gone from mulling a run against Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx earlier this month to announcing on Thursday his plan to succeed Dorothy Brown as clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County.
Brown announced on Wednesday that she would not seek re-election as circuit court clerk, a position she’s held since 2000. During much of that time, her office has been embroiled in controversies and multiple investigations by county, state and federal authorities.
Despite the raft of allegations, including claims her office routinely exchanged jobs for money and other favors, Brown has consistently denied wrongdoing.
On Wednesday, she told the Chicago Tribune she “had no doubts I would be able to win re-election, without a shadow of a doubt,” adding that it’s “good to be able to leave on your own terms. I feel really good about it.”
Boykin served a term as commissioner from 2014 to 2018. Last year, he narrowly lost his bid for re-election to current 1st District Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson.
On Aug. 2, the former commissioner and practicing attorney who was once Congressman Danny K. Davis’ chief of staff, said he was mulling a run to replace Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.
“Public corruption is rampant throughout Cook County and the state’s attorney has been absent when it comes to going after it,” Boykin said at the time. He said he would announce his decision in September.
But on Aug. 15, Boykin pivoted dramatically, announcing his decision to run for circuit court clerk instead — a day after Brown announced she would be stepping down.
“So many of the urgent issues we face in Chicago and Cook County have a single common denominator — access to justice,” Boykin said in a statement. “And when it comes to ensuring equal access to justice, there are few offices with more of a direct impact than the clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County.”
Boykin touted his experience as a member of the Grants Review Committee for the Justice Advisory Council of Cook County, “where we invested in programs and organizations providing access to justice in communities where that access is most urgently needed.”
Boykin joins a crowded field of candidates looking to preside over an office that has a $120 million budget and around 1,400 full-time employees who are responsible for administering a range of legal records and processing fines, among other duties, according to the Tribune.
Other candidates include “Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner Mariyana Spyropoulos, state Sen. Iris Martinez, attorney Jacob Meister, and Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Michael Cabonargi,” NBC 5 reports. Cabonargi was endorsed by the Cook County Democratic Party on Aug. 16.